Step back to 18th century in Sawdon

Main Street, Sawdon
Main Street, Sawdon

by Maureen Robinson

This lovely walk is accessible by private or public transport, and is particularly 
attractive in springtime. Do be prepared for some mud after rainfall, and enjoy country lanes with far-reaching views over meadows, dales, woodland and Wykeham Forest north.

Returning through Sawdon village, which still retains buildings that date from the 18th century, enables you to glimpse a rural scene which has changed 
little over the last century.

Start from the village of Brompton on the A170 Scarborough to Pickering road. The 128 service bus to Pickering and Helmsley should prove ideal.

From Hardwick’s Agricultural Engineers, turn off the A170 as indicated to Sawdon 1¾ miles. Park immediately in a lay-by to the right. Follow Sawdon Lane only as far as the right-angled bend, where a sign indicates: ‘Sawdon 1½ miles’. From here your route continues directly ahead along a rough lane which becomes a track beyond a few houses to the right. This is Wood Gate Lane, which is signed: ‘Unsuitable for Motor Vehicles’.

Remain on Wood Gate Lane as it gently ascends between grassed verges and hedgerows of hawthorn, blackthorn and dog rose with occasional ash trees and sprawling brambles.

Shortly the track levels and beyond a screening of evergreen trees to the right lies Sawdon Golf Club.

At the far end of the next field is a public footpath heading off to the right, which may be taken should you wish to shorten the route and return down Kirk Gate.

Otherwise, continue up Wood Gate, keeping straight ahead at the cross-tracks where a public footpath turns off left, unless you decide to turn right along Chapel Lane. To do so would reduce the route to four miles.

The six-mile route continues along a rough, muddy track from Wood Gate House, which is to the left. Descending between banked verges, it emerges opposite the gates of Granary Farm. Here, turn right along the Yederick Road, ignoring the other lane to Park Farm. Hazel bushes and mixed woodland feature to the left above a valley, as you step out along Yederick Road towards Sawdon village.

A stack of timber for winter fuel lies to your right opposite a copse, and wide, grassed verges are an attractive feature of Sawdon as you approach the village hall to your left.

The verges narrow quite dramatically once you enter the village, but take time to admire the mellow stone walls, high kerbs and mature trees that blend into a pleasant, rural setting.

Attractive cottages elevated above Main Street are followed by interesting properties listed as being of special interest. Notice a traditional style of farms and small cottages lining the Main Street. Many are constructed with corallian limestone walls and red clay pantile roofs. Glance back at the skyline, where roofs and chimney stacks create interest and variety, adding to the charming character of the village.

Nearing a ‘bends’ sign, don’t miss The Anvil for welcome refreshment. There’s The Anvil restaurant, free house, beer garden, and car park entrance to the rear. From Wednesday to Sunday one may tuck into lunch or dinner here.

Passing the Methodist Chapel dated 1823, which has been delightfully converted, you’ll see Low Lane off left, before reaching ‘Braeside’ near the corner. ‘The Balk’ just beyond, is an attractive alternative route to follow when time permits.

Kirkgate Farm features opposite Kirk Wood, and 
beyond woodland, Sawdon Golf Club is viewed along with the Viking Industrial Estate as you meander down Kirk Gate.

Passing Mount Pleasant Farm, return to the A170 from where your walk started.

NB. An easy-to-follow, direct route, but muddy in places as you head north.

Distance: Entire route approximately 6 miles. Shortened route via Chapel Lane is 4 miles.

Refreshment: The Anvil in Sawdon.

l Rural Rambles Volume 15 is now available – 17 super walks plus larger maps and some illustrations, for £2.50. Entire profits to charities; the Scarborough Maritime Heritage Centre have been given £50,000 from past sales. For a copy send a cheque for £2.50 payable to EM Robinson and enclose an A5 sized stamped addressed envelope (a 53p stamp will cover cost). Send to Mrs M Robinson, 14 Malvern Crescent, Scarborough YO12 5QW.